If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know that there's a tear in my disc which chemically irritates the nerve causing back pain that radiates down my leg. Of all the treatments that the back doctor has tried, I’ve tolerated them fairly well – the epidural steroid shots, the schedule C pain meds, the nerve medicine. Until recently.
The fatigue has been getting worse during the last month. Calling in sick hasn’t been helping as much as it did. The most concerning symptom was on Tuesday on the way to the DAR meeting.
The car started drifting into other lanes. Even a stop for a Krispy Kreme full-caff latte didn’t clear the webs in the head. It was like driving in a mental fog. Even after the meeting and lunch with the ladies, the drive home was no different. I’m forgetting things – like my cell phone, or the grocery list, or words.
While visiting with a friend who’s a nurse, she pulled out her trusty pill book and checked my meds to see what the side effects are. Here are the side effects of my nerve medicine:
drowsiness – yep, got it
tiredness or weakness – got that
dizziness – got that one
headache – ditto
shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control – nope
double or blurred vision – I thought I was just tired
unsteadiness – oh yeah
anxiety – in not knowing what’s wrong with me
memory problems – especially short term
strange or unusual thoughts – um, apparently
unwanted eye movements – does that twitch count?
nausea – not really
vomiting – no
heartburn – yep
diarrhea – nope
dry mouth – very, I drink water like it’s going out of style
constipation – nope
weight gain – that’s what the scale says, I thought I was developing muscle
swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs – no
back or joint pain – isn’t it supposed to help with the pain?
fever – no
runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms – for the past four days
ear pain – I thought it was associated with the sore throat
red, itchy eyes (sometimes with swelling or discharge) – I thought it was the pollen
Her diagnosis is that since I’m at the highest dosage for the medicine I’m close to overdosing. Since I’m a single mother again while my husband is on a business trip, I asked a friend to drive me to the internist. My concern lies in what will alleviate the back pain without knocking me off my feet. I can’t spend my life in bed. Unless there’s room service. And cabana boys.
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